July 15, 2018

Facebook takes on TV with new 'Watch' tab

10 August 2017, 04:22 | Dale Webster

Robert Galbraith Reuters

Mark Zuckerberg

For instance, it's unclear if you'll be able to find Facebook's original programming only in Watch or if you'll see third-party videos as well.

Facebook intends for the publishers to make money by splitting revenue from ads slot in the videos, or from branding their content.

"We've learned from Facebook Live that people's comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself", wrote Daniel Danker, Facebook's director of product in a blog post.

Facebook debuted a feature to take on TV companies and streaming services like Netflix and YouTube today with the launch of Watch. That was what the Video tab, available only in the U.S., was for.

It seems like Watch shows will blur the line between a live stream and a recorded program, which could make for interesting results.

Facebook has made its biggest move to date to compete in the television market by expanding its video offerings with programming ranging from professional women's basketball to a safari show and a parenting programme. There are also shows that bring viewers along for the journey of a fictional character like Kitchen Little. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes. It has a pinch of machine learning via dynamically curated sections like "Most Talked About" or "What's Making People Laugh".

Facebook also has signed a deal with Major League Baseball that will allow Watch to broadcast one live game each week.

Being in the digital and Internet age, Facebook Watch is more than just a collection of online shows. And, of course, there's plenty of opportunity to react or comment on those.

At launch, Watch is available to a limited number of U.S. users.

In addition to Facebook hand-picking shows to highlight, the Discover tab will also categorize shows within sections according to what people are watching across its social network and how people are reacting to those shows. When Watch, and Shows, will roll out to the rest of the country, let alone the world, will probably depend on how popular and lucrative the platform will be.

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